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April is My Mother’s Birth Month; I Miss Her

April is the birth month of my mother, and I missed her so much. She was gone, six years ago!

My mother was a very ideal woman, very loving and very industrious. She had raised us so well, though we were poor that time. She helped my father earned a living; at the same time,inculcated in us good virtues like love of work, being honest, loving and caring for those in need, and fear of God.

Very Religious Woman

I remembered during that time everyday after dinner, she will tell all of us to gather in front of our small altar at home, and we prayed the Holy Rosary. It was not merely praying, all of us were told to kneel with utmost respect, as we say the prayers.

After the Rosary, we will put the right hand of our father, and then our mother, in our foreheads as if we were asking for their blessings.

Every Sunday, she and my father always go to church to attend the Sunday Mass. Sometimes we were told to come along.

There were so many virtues that our mother showed and taught us. One is living simply within our means. I remembered she did not have to ask our richer relatives to help us, even from her mother, my grandmother, who was at that time have money from our grandfather’s pension as a World War II veteran.

My mother did not ask her mother to give her or to give her some inheritance like a piece of lot where we could had built a house. It was good my father was given a piece of land by his father (my grandfather).

Before she died, my mother lamented that her mother did not give her an inheritance, but it was given only to one of my uncles. But she did not raised that issue to my grandmother until she (grandmother) died.

A Very Industrious Woman

My mother was a very industrious woman. She wakes up at dawn to cook for us as we prepared to go to school. She would always made sure that our school clothes or uniforms were clean and well ironed. She was very neat woman. She did not waste time chatting or gossiping with neighbors. But she was very friendly, even to beggars who passed by our home to ask for food or alms.

Though we were also poor, she always have a caring attitude to other people who are poorer than us. She would give them spare food, sometimes used clothing to help them. Maybe that was her way of thanking God for the blessings for our family.

She Enjoyed Doing Crafts

I remembered my mother who do a lot of crafts during her spare time usually in the afternoon. She would do a lot of embroidery, so almost all of our pillows and blankets have embroidered flowers, usually a gumamela flower, like the avatar I am using for my writing sites now. At times, it would be a flock of ducks, some grasses, along with the flowers. She did all these even without a pattern, she embroidered straight without drawing the outline first.

Before she died, she gave me some of the pillowcases with ducks embroidered on it, and I was thinking of having it framed because it is something very valuable for me. Maybe I will just cut the embroidered portion and have it framed.

Now I realised maybe I inherited that genes, the love for crafting from her. This could be the reason I love to knit or to crochet. For me it is a work of art, just like my mother, whom I considered to be a good artist too. Her canvas was the clothes she embroidered on. She also loved to sew and darn clothes using our manual sewing machine.

At times she would recycle pieces of cloth and have it sewn together in a plastic sack or used sack to make a simple rug. It was so beautiful and colorful because she loved to use happy colors for her works. Her embroidered flowers were usually red, and green for the leaves.

I remembered, I had a big black umbrella which I was using in going to school, especially during rainy days, and she embroidered one panel of it with a red gumamela flower (hibiscus flower). It was bad, we have no camera that time, unlike today, so if I should had the photo of that embroidered umbrella!

Passing on the Good Virtues

These days, when I remember my mother, I always tell my children and my relatives about the nice virtues of my mother. It is through telling them her nice deeds that I want them to follow the good deeds she had done; her good principle in life of living honestly and living within her means.

It is a good virtue; the love of work, and nurturing one’s potentials, using time wisely like doing crafts during spare time. And the most important of it, is the love of God and caring for those in need.

Parents as Good Models

I am proud to say that my father and mother had been good role models for us, their children. Though they were poor, they urged all of us to finish our studies to have a better future ahead of us. We enrolled in public schools, and in college, many of us had scholarships from the government.

Children today are more fortunate. They do not have to walk to school, whether it is raining or the sun is shining hot. Our parents told us that education is the only inheritance they could give us. (Though they gave small lots to have our respected houses built).

And the most important inheritance they gave us were the good deeds, the good example they had shown us. They had no enemies, but so many friends. Until now, when we meet some of their acquaintances during that time, they had nothing but beautiful memories they had about my parents.

I am so happy to hear such good words about my mother, and also about my father, who were good role models when they were still alive.

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He was Born April Fool’s Day

Photo shows my grandchild, the son of my niece who gave birth on April Fool’s Day. Today is the son’s first birthday. He is the youngest member of our big, big family.
He was born with pneumonia, and we were so worried during that time because he could hardly breath and he had to be given some oxygen treatment, and nebulizer.

I pitied the child, because his face would darken whenever he cries, apparently he had a hard time breathing. Even during the first few months, till he was about six months old, we could hear his hard breathing especially when he cries. He had intermittent sleep because of that condition.

The pediatrician also recommended a special kind of infant milk, one that does not cause allergy because of his asthmatic condition. It was a precious baby milk, and because his parents are not rich, they could hardly meet the needs of their three children. It was good my sister is helping them financially from her monthly pension, being a retired teacher.

April Fool’s Day Birthday

April Fool’s Day is considered by many as a “joke day!” Though it is not so famous in our country unlike in the European or western countries, it is recognized here as a day of “jokes.”

Locally, it can be compared to our observance of “Ninos Inocentes” or “Holy Innocent’s Day,” which is celebrated every December 28, three days after Christmas Day. People used to crack jokes on their friends, or play tricks on them.

But today, April 1, our family is happy because our grandson turned one year old, and he succeeded over that health problem when he was born. It was no joke for parents to bear the brunt of having a sickly child, more so if they are not financially well -off.

Now the grandson is so healthy, and he apparently outgrew that asthmatic condition. Thanks God, he is very healthy and very active boy. For this, his parents will not worry about April Fool’s Day, but they will always welcome it.

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How to turn the children’s birthday into a memorable and meaningful event?
February 25, 2017

The children are so happy when their birthday is approaching, as this is one of the most important of the year to them.

As a parent, how to turn the children’s birthday to a memorable and meaning event, and mark another new milestone in the growing path of the child?

Here are some thoughts and sharing on the preparation and essential steps:

  1. Birthday cake. It is not necessary to have a birthday cake, it just depends on the custom or culture of the family. Some family might cook some long noodles for the children for birthday celebration and mark the milestone.


And, for some Chinese, the parent will cook two or one pair of eggs and colouring them in the red, symbolize to have a happy life forever. Two is a good sign too, meant won’t be alone in life.


However, for the modern parent, go and purchase a birthday cake is the one of the simple way for celebrating the children’s party.


But, the children need more than this.


  1. A gift. A gift that not only to fulfil the children’s desire or need, but it’s for his/her improvement and growing purpose. I will prefer to give the children some books that suits his/her age and able to help to learn more about the life.


  1. A birthday story. The parent should prepare the birthday story for the children. The children love to know more how and when they were given birth and the story when they were just a little kid, how they learnt to walk, what they like to eat when they were a baby.


They will know more about themselves via this opportunity. And, this helps to enhance the touching relationship between the child and parent.


  1. A birthday card. Tell the child how good is him/her, what are his/her strengths, and what are our expectation on him/her and what can be improved for the coming year.


Birthday is the big day for the children, but the parent should turn it into a memorable and meaning event!

Image: pixabay

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I Am Angry , Please Don’t Talk To Me !
January 31, 2017

This is again actually a throwback. I just would like to share this and get your insights on this.

That’s how I felt one time, when I got so angry at what my officemate did.

She didn’t tell me that in her monitoring sheet of all my paid leaves in her computer, she has already included the one-day birthday leave and applied an absent of mine to it.

Thus , I thought by December when my birthday comes , I still have that to enjoy .

I just came to know about it when I told her as we were sharing stories that on my birthday on December , I shall just spend it at home, to which she said I will be on no work, no pay already as I already consumed it.

“What !”, I burst! I told her that a birthday leave should only be consumed on the month of your birthday. And it’s what I always do and that is what boss wants all of us to do. Besides, when I file a leave I always state what kind of leave it will be and I know I haven’t stated that I am availing of my birthday leave since I know it’s not yet due.

Our boss doesn’t want anyone spending the birthday leave ahead of the month of one’s birthday. So how come she made it like that in our records.

I walked out and texted her to please don’t talk to me yet , which she did.

I got myself a glassful of cold water and drank it slowly. In a little while , I felt okay.

Then , I went to the sea deck and watched the calm sea and pacified myself.

When I went back to the office room, my officemate apologized and we talked about it. She promised not to practice it anymore and be more strict in implementing the birthday leave.

I made her understand that a birthday leave is only earned on the day of the birthday of the employee. This should be availed of on or after the birthday but within the month of it.

It’s so sad, though, that I have to take a leave on that birthday without pay, because it was already given to me without her telling me that I have no more paid leaves anymore.

So since then, she never let anyone avail of the birthday leave before the actual day of the birthday. She also informed everyone that if they don’t have paid leaves anymore, they cannot use the birthday leave yet unless it falls due already.

How would you react, if you were in my stead? Have I over-reacted?

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